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Tuesday, October 19, 1999 Published at 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK


Police release 'chilling' murder tape

Police hunting the killers of a man who was tortured and then burnt to death have released a horrifying tape recording of his final moments.

The recording was taken from a 999 call made by a terrified friend of murder victim David Barnshaw, 32, who can be heard pleading for his life.

His charred remains were found in a burnt-out car on Welkin Road in Stockport, Greater Manchester, on 20 September.

He and his friend, who is known only as John, were kidnapped from the Moss Rose pub two miles away in Didsbury.

They were beaten and tied up before Mr Barnshaw, from Stockport, was thrown into the back of the car, while John was forced into the boot.

He managed to call 999 on his mobile phone and 40 seconds into the recording David Barnshaw can be heard pleading for his life.

'They are killing us'

Petrol was found in his lungs and stomach and police believe that petrol was poured over his face, and he may have been forced to drink it.

At one point in the tape, John says: "A load of lads, they threw me in the back of the car. Please just get the police to the Moss Rose quick, they are killing us. Please, they're battering us. Please stop. Please, please come. Please come please. Please, quick."

Minutes later John managed to pick the lock on the boot and flee, and saw the Ford Orion go up in flames.

Police have taken the unusual step of releasing the tape because they feel people are less ready to give information on the murder because Mr Barnshaw was a known drug dealer.

Detective Superintendent David Crompton said: "It is very much a chilling tape. It is murderous, it's cold blooded and we need to find the people who did it, and if this helps it is worthwhile."

Anonymous calls

Police said Mr Barnshaw's three-year-old daughter Lydia had been told that her father had gone to the moon in a space rocket.

Detective Chief Inspector Kenny Caldwell said: "A little girl has been deprived of her daddy and whatever he was, he did not deserve to die in the way that he did."

Mr Caldwell said police had had anonymous tip-offs and urged those callers to contact them again.

The men were kidnapped at 2130 BST and put in a black Ford Orion, which had then travelled from the Moss Rose pub to Welkin Road either along the M60 or through the centre of Stockport.

Police are asking anyone who saw the car to contact them at the Stockport incident room on 0161 856 9905.

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